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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Lovely Vernon documentary..... any others? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DavidJones9
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Hi guys, first time posting in this section, so my sincere apologies in advance if this has already been brought up/covered.
Was doing the usual online shopping around, and stumbled on this gorgeous documentary about Dai Vernon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeIBCLw4p8o

Just thought I'd share it here for all. And also thought I'd seize the opportunity to ask whether anyone knows of any other worthwhile 'magic documertaries'? By this I don't mean your tradition lay people shows, such as '100 best magic tricks' and so forth. But those rare few such as the one above, that give a true behind the seens glimpse into the lives of great magicians, the performance of magic, etc.

Thanks to all, and have a good day Smile
Robertology
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I couldn't handle it after the audio shifts a few minutes in. Here's another that somebody worked on a bit to fix that issue (still not perfect but better). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XUvRJ2_0uQ

Thanks for sharing that.
- Robert
DavidJones9
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Cheers for that! Yeah I know, quality is by no means perfect but still fascinating to watch.
Thanks again Smile
Jiceh
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Very good. I have it on VHS and I like it a lot. We can see Nate Leipzig doing his purse and cigars routine but only the first few seconds ... What a pity
DavidJones9
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Indeed, it's a shame there's not more of these out there! Glad you enjoyed it Smile
Wilf Jonson
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Of course there's the recent documentary, Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2654360/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

This Marlo documentary doesn't have the depth of The Spirit of Magic (the Vernon documentary referred to above), but it's something: Ed Marlo: It's All In The Cards:

http://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/ed-marl......-dvd-set


Some other notable recent magic documentaries include:


Women In Boxes (2008) - Interviews with women who perform in the role of assistant. The interviewers/documentarians are presented with richer material than they seem to know how to handle, since the film lacks a strong thesis. Gay Blackstone, Luna Shimada and Pam Thompson provide much to think about. Well worth watching:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1268991/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1


Make Believe (2010) - Follows 6 teens competing in the World Magic Seminar Youth Competition.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1538833/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_22


Magic Camp (2012) - Follows 5 kids competing at Tannen's Magic Camp. Very engaging.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1525580/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
DavidJones9
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Thank you so much for these! About to boil the kettle and sink my teeth into them! Smile
Wilf Jonson
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Just read about this one in the April issue of Genii:

El Gran Simulador (2013, 76 mins) - Documentary about Rene Lavand, the brilliant one-armed magician from Argentina.

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S17442
DavidJones9
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I continue to be very glad I posted this question! So grateful for the responses! Thanks Wilf Jonson!
Anatole
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You might try these. Quality varies. You might check youtube for them.
The first two I have seen and thought they were good.
Perhaps others can provide their reviews:

Robert-Houdin: A Magician's Life
http://dennymagic.com/store/robert-houdi......738.html

Biography: David Copperfield
http://www.amazon.com/Biography-David-Co......perfield


Grand illusions: The Story of Magic (I think this is Part I)
http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Illusions-St......of+Magic
on youtube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on7aHtKrCLI

Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic, Part II
http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Illusions-St......of+Magic
on youtube at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQRgceYrqAs

Siegfried and Roy: Magicians of the Century
http://www.amazon.com/Magical-Stories-Ma......iography

We Remember Lee Grabel (unfortunately only on VHS I think)
http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Lee-Grabe......iography

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
DavidJones9
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Seen a couple but not all! Thanks so much for that Sonny! Smile
pickin_grinnin
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Anatole - Thank you for that list! I'm working my way through them now. I'm going to purchase a copy of Grand Illusions for the public library I run.
Anatole
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And don't forget "Ed Sullivan Presents Amazing Stars of Magic"
http://www.edsullivan.com/search-results......of+magic
which has been discussed here on the Café before. Not a documentary, but fairly complete performances from the Sullivan show of people like Richiardi, Kalanag, Fantasio...

I just wish they put put out a second DVD set!

And the these specials, which although not documentaries per se but very rare performances by some of the legends in magic:
http://dennymagic.com/store/milbourne-ch......dvd.html
and "The Festival of Magic" with Robert Harbin, Sorcar and Cardini and others.
http://dennymagic.com/store/festival-of-magic-dvd-12544.html

BTW, there are a couple of software programs that will download youtube videos and other videos. With software like that you can create DVDs of some of your favorite acts from the web--both amateur and pro--and burn them to a DVD.

Stevens Magic has a section of "Performance Only" DVDS:
http://www.stevensmagic.com/product-cate......nce-dvds
with DVDs documenting various magic conventions around the world.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Anatole
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Question for pickin_grinnin:
Which public library do you run??? Maybe we'll all apply for a borrower's card!
I have always felt that the public and school libraries are a secret "School of Magic."
I actually discovered some VHS instructional magic videos at the main branch of the public library near where I live--videos that ordinarily would be obtainable only from a magic dealer!

When I worked as a school librarian, I made sure we had a great collection of magic books for kids. They were always being checked out, of course, because the kids got to see a magician in action (me) and in addition to sometimes doing commercial magic tricks, I did tricks from the magic books on the 793.8 library shelf for kids in grades K-5. Needless to say, the magic books were constantly being checked out--with a list of names of studets waiting for their turn to get them!

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
pickin_grinnin
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Anatole: How long were you a school librarian? Did you enjoy it?

I'm the director of a public library in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas. The town has about 10,000 residents, but the population we serve is closer to 25,000, since we're surround by a lot of tiny little towns that don't have libraries of their own.

When I took over the library four years ago, the collection was a mess. It still is, but it's getting better - I have been furiously purchasing things for a few years now, and working hard on identifying holes in our collection.

I realized a while back that there were no magic books, VHSs, or DVDs in the collection, so I have been carefully filling that in. In fact, we had very little in the way of items related to puppetry, juggling, circus arts, etc. I have made good progress with the books, but am still doing the research on DVDs, particularly "how to" ones for kids. We have about 5,200 DVDs now (we only had 100 4 years ago). The movie portion of the DVDs is really good, but I'm still trying to build up parts of the non-fiction area (where magic goes).

Collection development is an intense process if you do it right. You want the most bang for your buck, but also need to make sure that you are getting items that people will actually borrow, even if you need to do some work to advertise that you have them (with displays and such).

You are absolutely right about many libraries having unusual and obscure things in their collections. People donate all sorts of things to libraries. We had a very large collection of highly specialized hunting VHS tapes in the past because a resident donated them to us. I got rid of them after they went several years without circulating, but regret it now, since I have found out that they were really obscure and almost impossible for people to obtain today.

We have a huge summer reading program every year, with both small ongoing prizes and drawings for large prize packages at the end. This year I'm including a beginning magic package for the children's program. I usually get about $100 worth of stuff for each drawing package (though I don't pay nearly that much - I'm a bargain shopper) so it will be a pretty thorough package. I already have the books and a set of seven nice wooden wands that were turned on a lathe (the winner can pick the one he or she likes best), and I'm digging through the possibilities for DVDs. Next I start on the tricks and the rest of it.

When I took over the library they hired very few performers, and even then it was mostly storytellers. A lot of that had to do with space issues. We just finished a huge expansion of the library a year ago, and I insisted on two separate performance spaces - a large one with a decent sound system, and a smaller children's one with a really nice puppet theater, sound system, etc. I try to have a magician of some sort perform here at least twice a year, along with those who are related entertainment arts.

I have been a storyteller for well over a decade now, both at work and privately. I spent several years developing puppetry skills, and taught a lot of workshops and classes on shadow puppetry. Now I'm learning magic and trying to get my banjo-playing skills back up to par. I'll probably throw in some mime and voice lessons sometime in the next few years, as well. For me, it's all part of the same thing. I'm not a purist - I already mix storytelling, puppetry, and very simple magic into our storytimes and other events in the library. My storytelling background is what has drawn me to bizarre magic and mentalism. When I develop those skills, I'll probably save them for friends, small gatherings at home, etc. Regular magic is what I'm most likely to mix into storytimes and such.

I think I'm rambling...time to shut up now Smile
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